Diane's Cancer Blog

Update

I had surgery on 2/28.  They removed the cancer in left my pectoral muscle via "cookie cutter" method - basically included skin, tissue, and muscle down to my implant.  Another surgeon removed my implants and the alloderm at the same time.  I didn't experience pain, but it seemed to take a long time to get my energy back.  I suppose part of it was the cancer, the surgery, the recovery from the Bell's Palsy, and my son relapsed too.  There was a ton going on.

I started endocrine therapy - Zoladex and Letrozole - on April 4.  I immediately turned into an angry person.  But by May 15, I was a deeply depressed person.  I cried several times a day...for no reason.  The day I spent my lunch hour in a stairwell, bawling my eyes out - I called my doctor.  She told me to stop the Letrozole.  I did.  I went back to the doctor in early June and got the Zoladex implant and she wanted me to start Effexor - to help with the hot flashes that were keeping me up all night.  A side effect of that drug is insomnia...I lost the last bit of sleep I was getting.  We were supposed to find a new AI drug at my July visit.  I stopped that drug, and decided no more Zoladex either.  I was experiencing such pain in my feet, knees and hips - it hurt to walk.  Crocheting was hurting my hands.  I decided my mental health and physical health took priority.  I wasn't treating an active cancer - just trying to prevent it.  So I stopped it all, and haven't looked back.

I have a revision surgery on August 15 - because despite my direction to leave me flat, my surgeon did not do so.  I ended up with four bumps of tissue - two are at least an inch thick; the other two are a bit smaller.  They show through shirts.  I'm 51 - and don't want to look like this for the rest of my life.  I will tattoo again after I heal from this surgery.

I know some people think I should have persevered through the side effects.  I couldn't.  I am normally a happy, positive person.  Those meds turned me into a depressed, angry person, who was in pain from walking and crocheting.  I still can't run.  Although the other symptoms have improved for the most part, the pain my feet remains somewhat, as does the constant inflammation of my lips (such weird side effects...but that's me - my body is highly sensitive).

I feel good - just want to get the last surgery behind me, and hopefully, get my tattoos for my 52nd birthday.

Love to all.

 

Diane

3 people sent you a hug.
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Diane, I am so sorry for all you have had to go through since your surgery. I had no idea that the meds were causing you such side effects. I don't blame you for wanting to get off of them, as I know you are not an angry person--that's just not you! I hope things continue to improve for you and that the final surgery will go well so that you can get on with life and be the happy person I know you are. I wish you all the best and with your family too. I love seeing the pics of you and your precious grandson. Take care, my sweet friend, and please let us know how the surgery goes. Hugs!

The beast is back.

After hitting 8 years cancer free on Thanksgiving, 2018, I thought I was home free.

Well, let's back up here a bit.  I met my love in 2015.  We moved in together after my youngest son moved to Florida in late 2016.  My kids have grown up...they are 25 and 20 now; my beloved grandson is six.  2018 was a great year.  I turned 50! I finally got a new job last year (after 9 years at the previous job!) that included fabulous health insurance as a benefit.  Jeff and I got married in October.  My oldest son had time in recovery from addiction.  My youngest son is doing well.

Welcome to 2019.  January 7 brought my annual visit to my breast surgeon.  I was going in for a checkup and to discuss some pain I was having with the implants. During the routine ultrasound, she found a mass in my left breast, which previously had cancer. Back in 2010 I had two separate cancerous tumors in that breast, which necessitated a mastectomy. I removed both breasts for purposes of reconstruction and thinking, quite naively, that I would no longer have to deal with the worry of breast cancer. And that finding of the mass has created a whirlwind of doctor appointments, biopsies, and  scans.

A few days after a breast MRI with contrast, I landed in the emergency room. Half my face was not working. My eyelid would not blink, I couldn't smile, and I was slurring my words. However, my forehead was working. The doctors could not decide whether it was a stroke or Bell's palsy. We opted to treat the stroke with a powerful clot-busting drug called TPA. Taking this drug can kill you. If you are bleeding in the brain, you will bleed out and die. And they told me that up front. I had to have serious conversations with my children, one of whom lives half a country away. So we treated for the stroke, necessitating a stay in acute care for 24 hours because of the medication I took. About six hours after my arrival at the ER, I met with the stroke doctor. He decided I had Bell's Palsy, instead of the stroke. I was grateful for this news, but upset that I had potentially put my life in danger by taking the medicine. I finished out my stay in acute-care and came home the next night.

People tend to think Bell's Palsy is just a paralysis of the facial muscles. It is that, but it is so much more. There is extreme fatigue; pain and vision issues as well. My face muscles have returned  95%. However, my vision is not quite back to normal, and I have pain on my face and scalp. But I am improving every day.

I will have a dual surgery.  The first step will remove the cancer and the second step will include removal of my implants and repair to the muscle.

Tomorrow I will find out the results of my scans...hoping this is just a local recurrence and not mets.  Both docs seem to think it is local, but the scans will tell.

I am hoping to have my surgery asap and move on to the next chapter of my life.  I figure 2019 can only improve after this.

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Diane, I am so sorry that all of this has come down on you. I know you are a trooper though, and with your husband and family behind you, you will get through whatever comes. I hope that the scans show this is a localized tumor. I also hope that you will continue to recover from the Bell's Palsy to 100%. You are always in my prayers and that will continue. Sending you big hugs and positive thoughts. Hang in there!
I am so sorry. I am praying for you. Try to hang in there. Big hugs ❤️
Dear Diane, hoping and praying for you that local recurrence is the extent of what you face, and the the recovery from Bell's palsy is quick and complete. I was so happy to hear about Jeff and your sons: things have been going so well for you, this may well be a painful but brief hiccup for you. Much love and stay strong!
What a horrible story you have lived through! We will all be waiting for your news tomorrow...holding you in my heart.
Now, I would've thought Bell's OR Myasthenia Gravis. But Bell's is a more benign dx as MG is incurable. Ironically both my bio father and Stepfather had MG. That 5% may not return. Stepfather's eye squinted more than the other when he smiled or laughed and to be honest, I found it cute and charming. Many Brca survivors that have recurring disease is NOT Stage 4. But it's always the MBC'ers that we hear the most about. Well, blessings on you, the hands of you surgeon for a positive outcome. Just remember to take those STEROIDS for the Bell's. I was shocked when the neurologist told me that nerves CAN rejuvenate themselves!
Diane I am so sorry I am going through the same thing on Jan 25th after biopsy and scans the breast cancer is back and I have also been diagnosed with bowel cancer. I am thinking of you, we have done it once we can do it again.
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Vital Info

Posts

September 16, 2010

Tulsa, Oklahoma

February 9, 1968

Cancer Info

Breast Cancer

IDC

September 14, 2010

Stage 1

0.1 - 1.0 cm

Grade 1

Positive

Positive

No

No

Everything

I am indeed blessed.

November 22, 2010

Yes. 2019

2019 - new mass in left breast. 2010- None - I found a lump, which turned out to by a cyst. That cyst was hiding one of the cancer tumors. The other tumor was closer to my chest wall.

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